How old is a bee?

Bees are social insects that have evolved from wasps. For this reason, it is believed that the first bees were predators of other insects and that, over time, they have fed their pollen pups instead of insects until they feed exclusively on pollen. Bees are found in all habitats where they have flowers, as they are adapted to feed only on pollen and nectar. The bees we habitually see in the field are working females who are not sexually developed. Life expectancy of a be e.

As with wasps,the life cycle of bees depends mainly on the type of bee we are analyzing. Working bees (sterile females) live on average 45 days, drones (fertile males) have a life expectancy of around 3 months and queen bees can reach 5 years of age provided the weather conditions are favorable. The bees live in colonies formed by a queen bee, drones and worker bees. Queen bees have the sole task of laying eggs to create the new generation of bees. When the queen bee dies, the workers feed a working bee with royal jelly to make it develop its reproductive apparatus and become a fertile female, that is, a queen bee. The drones, on the other hand, are responsible for fecundating the queen and are expelled from the hive in autumn or winter, when food is scarce.

There are many diseases that attack honey bees as a result of the action of different pathogenic organisms, for this reason and as they affect adult bees (worker, drones, queen) or developing breeding, egg, larva or pupa. Some diseases are characteristic of one species (Apis cerana) and then passed to another species as (Apis mellifera) or vice versa.

Each pathogen has its own strategy of infection and development, for this we have followed the following order: beginning with ectoparasites, then the disease of the breeding, adult diseases, moths that attack the pictures with wax, pesticides and animals that cause Problems in hives.

The control of these diseases is usually more important than the treatments, the management of hives and their periodic control by the beekeeper, avoiding the creation of a situation (predisposing causes) that favors the attack of the pathogenic organisms, or the dispersion of /span> Diseases that could lead to the death of the colony.

Apis mellifera's life cycle

The honeybees penetrate the winter as a colony, the queen bee begins to spawn in spring. This is probably activated by the nectar-releasing blooms, abundant already in this period. The queen is the only fertile female and lays the eggs from which all other bees will be born. The queen bee does not leave the hive, except during fertilization flights, or when a swarm occurs to give rise to a new colony. The queen deposits her eggs in wax cloths that the workers construct with hexagonal cells. The egg after the third day is transformed into a small larva that is fed by suckling bees (young worker bees). After about a week, depending on the species, the larva is sealed in its cell by the suckling bees, producing the state of nymph or pupa. In about another week (again depending on the species), the nymph emerges like an adult bee.

Queens are not bred in the typical horizontal honeycomb cells, but their cells are built to be larger and upright. When the queen finishes her larval feeding stage and becomes a pupa, she moves to a head-down position, from which she then eats her cell to leave. During the pupa stage, the worker bees plug or seal the actual cell. Just after emerging from their cells, queen bees often produce a sound which is believed to be a challenge to other queens to battle. Queen bees live an average of three years. The workers live much shorter periods of less than three months on average. The queen bees release pheromones to regulate the activities of the hive. Many worker bees also produce pheromones to communicate with other bees.

How to make a queen inside the hive

New queens arise as a result of a decrease in the levels of pheromone production that inhibit the onset of the swarming impulse of the colony. The queen is a larva fed by secretions of the working mothers bees throughout their life. The cell that will give rise to a queen, is called real cell, in Castilian is denominated "realera" and has the form of a peanut shell, of approximately 2 to 2,5 centimeters in length. The nurse worker bees will fill this real cell with a substance that they secrete called royal jelly by closing it on the 8th day, and on day 16 of the egg laying the virgin queen emerges.

The queen is the only female that is fully developed sexually. This is the result of a total diet of royal jelly during the development period. It has recently been found 1 that the active ingredient in royal jelly that converts a queen into a worker is the royalactin protein (formerly referred to as the 57-kDa protein, in reference to its molecular weight) that activates the kinase p70 S6, which in turn increases

The activity of the MAP kinase.

Research from the 1960s suggested that royal jelly contains a potent neurochemical substance, while a work in 1972 highlighted hormones in development. More recently, scientists identified a set of proteins in royal jelly, potentially involved in the generation of queens.
In the presentiment that one of these proteins could be a key ingredient in royal jelly, Masaki Kamakura, an entomologist at the Biotechnology Research Center in Toyoma, Japan, designed a simple experiment.
Royal jelly is stored at a temperature that degrades its proteins at a different rate and then tested whether the heat treated gelatin could make queens. It took 30 days for the power of the royal jelly to disappear. The chemical analysis showed that a protein that had previously been called royalactin was one of the slowest to break. Royalactin protein, when combined with other nutrients, transforms queen larvae with the same efficacy as royal jelly.

The honey bee (Apis mellifera) forms two breeds of females: the queen and the workers. This dimorphism does not depend on genetic differences, but on the ingestion of royal jelly, although the mechanism by which royal jelly regulates caste differentiation has long been unknown. It has now been shown that the 57 kDa protein in royal jelly, previously designated as royalactin, induces the differentiation of bees' larvae into queens. It facilitates greater body size and ovary development and shortens development time. Surprisingly, it also showed similar effects on the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster). Studies revealed that the mechanisms of action activate kinase, which is responsible for the increase in body size, increased activity of mitogen-activated protein kinase, and increased the amount of juvenile hormone, an essential hormone for the Development of the ovary. These results indicate that a specific factor in royal jelly, royalactin, drives the development of the queen.

"Finding the active components of royal jelly that are important to the queen's development has been a kind of holy grail of insect research for decades," says Gro Admam, an entomologist at Arizona State University in Tempe, who Was not involved in this research. "It really is an impressive document," says Admam, and should inspire other bee researchers to see what they can learn from fruit flies. However, the development of the queen bee is probably too complex to be explained by an ingredient of royal jelly, she says. "We just have to be careful when falling in love with a single explanation."

The queen is distinguished by its long and thin appearance caused by the complete development of the ovaries in the abdomen. It has a prick without a pick. Approximately five days after leaving the cell, the virgin queen makes some fertilization flights. He makes several flights in a period of two or three days, and can copulate with ten or more drones. It stores the sperm of the drones in a special organ, the spermatheca, and does not copulate any more after this period. In the colony is located in the nest area. The bees also have a method to select their queen.

Fertilization flights

The queen leaves the hive to perform several flights of fertilization or nuptial flights, usually make 4 or 5 for several days, being mated in flight by several drones.

The reason that the queen bee mates with many drones has been and is a debate of many works, but certainly increases the genetic diversity of her colony, since the workers are all daughters of the same mother, but not of the same father. This explains why within the hive we can identify layers of workers with different colorations. The mechanism by which the queen bee fecundates the eggs with sperm of different drones we also do not know.

About five days after the fertilization flights, the queen begins to lay eggs. During favoring periods a good queen can lay more than 1500 eggs a day. Factors that affect posture are: climate, nectar and pollen collection, queen size, and colony condition. The number of eggs laid varies with the annual cycle according to the variation of nectar and pollen available. When there is a lot of pollen and nectar the workers are stimulated, giving more and better nutrition to the queen, which encourages her to put more eggs.

Pheromones of the queen

Several of the queen's glands produce a complex substance called queen pheromones. It is distributed throughout the colony by means of the workers who take care of the queen. Queen pheromones are a combination of complex chemicals used to control the behavior of other individuals of the same species. The substance produced by the queen and the other individuals of the colony serves to harmonize the behavior of the same. Normally there is a queen in each colony, although sometimes there are two queens because the colony is replacing the old queen. The queen can live up to four years, but in the tropics, where the annual period of posture is longer, the queen does not live as much. Old queens do not have the same egg-laying ability as younger queens, so beekeepers prefer to have young queens, replacing them every two years.

Acariosis: Mite Attack

  • Varroosis: Attack by Varroa mite.
  • Varroa jacobsoni. Attacks Apis cerana.
  • Varroa destructor. Attacks Apis mellifera.
  • Varroa rinderi. Attacks Apis koschevnikovi.
  • Varroa underwoodi. Attacks Apis nuluensis, Apis nigrocincta, Apis cerana.
  • Euvarroa wongsirii. Attacks Apis andreniformis.
  • Euvarroa sinhai. Attacks Apis florea
  • Tropilaelapsosis: Mite attack. Tropilaelaps clareae
  • Tropilaelaps clareae: Attack: Apis cerana, Apis florea, Apis mellifera and Apis laboriosa
  • Tropilaelaps koenigerum: is a parasite of Apis laboriosa and Apis dorsata.
  • Tracheal mite: Tracheal mite attack. Acarapis wood
  • Lice: Insects
  • Braula coeca: Bee louse.
  • Endoparasites
  • Wolbachia

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